The Hamilton Wentworth Junior Varsity Panthers could have been dubbed the Cardiac Cats against the York Simcoe Bucs on Sunday (June 14).
With less than 1:30 left in the fourth quarter the Bucs tied the game 34-34 on a two-point conversion. And because there is no overtime in regular season games in the league, the Panthers were focused on finding a victory, only to fumble the ball on the very first play of their ensuing offensive series.
The Bucs took full advantage of that miscue and scampered downfield for a TD and a 40-34 lead after missing the extra point attempt.
With one minute left in the game and one time out remaining, Panthers quarterback Lucas Spagnuolo (16/22, 225 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) led a 70-plus yard drive down the field that resulted in a Josh Forester major with nine seconds left on the clock.
The extra point was made by kicker Jack Fuller, who was good on five of six efforts, to clinch the victory, 41-40, for the JV Panthers, while adding a dramatic finish to a gut wrenching minute and a half of football for all in attendance.
For the Panthers, running back Forester had an astonishing performance with 157 rushing yards on 22 carries, 112 yards receiving from six receptions and scored all six TDs (five rushing, one reception). Clutch receiving was also made by wide receiver Brandyn Bowman (two for 60 yards).
Key defensive plays were made by safety James Parry (two tackles and one interception) and Dave Szczyry (five tackles and one knocked down pass).
The win improved the second place Panthers record to 2-1. The JV Panthers next opponents will be the Toronto Jr. Argos on Sunday, June 21 at 1:30 p.m. at MacRae Fields in Rockton.